Tag:Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Posted on: August 3, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 7:43 pm
 

NBA 2K12 to feature 15 basketball legends

Posted by Ben Golliver

julius-erving-2k12

A few weeks back, we noted that a trio of NBA legends -- Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan, Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird -- would grace commemoratice covers of this year's NBA 2K12 video game. It turns out those three won't be the only legendary basketball players to be featured in this year's game.

IGN.com reports that NBA 2K12 will feature a game mode called "NBA's Greatest" which will allow the user to play through 15 historic games and control 15 basketball legends. "His Airness is back," a trailer for the game declares. "This time he brought friends."
Players announced so far are: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Julius "Dr. J" Erving, plus 10 other legends to be announced in the coming weeks. The historic games feature the entire team rosters, accurate stadiums, and are presented to look like TV broadcasts from their respective era. 

To add icing to the cake, the classic teams can be unlocked and played in game against contemporary lineups. Kobe vs. Kareem. Dr. J vs. KG. Jordan vs. LBbron. 

"There's the age old debate how players and teams from today would compare with teams of yesterday," said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports. "We want to settle that debate." 
We can all breathe a sign of relief that Abdul-Jabbar made the cut. Lord knows he wouldn't have taken a snubbing very well after not immediately getting a statue at Staples Center like he has demanded.

While the other ten names on the list haven't been announced yet, here's who I would pick, in no particular order. Note: We're looking for video game fun and a good diversity of eras here. Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Pete Maravich, Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Isiah Thomas and Elgin Baylor. Honorable mention goes to guys like Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Moses Malone and Bernard King. 

As for the snubs? Willis Reed's return from injury needs to be included in the most memorable games list somehow and it's difficult to leave off guys like John Havlicek, David Robinson, Bob Cousy, George Mikan, John Stockton and Karl Malone.

Here's a promotional video trailer of the game courtesy of IGM.com. NBA 2K12 is set to be released on Oct. 4, 2011.


Images above taken from video trailer
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Posted on: July 8, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 10:19 pm
 

Yao Ming retires: Round table discussion

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has retired. Here's a roundtable discussion about what it means. Posted by EOB staff.

yao-ming

Matt Moore: Is Yao Ming a Hall of Famer?

I'm leaning towards no. He only had two 20-10 seasons where he played over 60 games. There's the Chinese cultural impact and the fact that he was the best center in the league from 2006-2009. But other than that, I'm having a hard time justifying his entry to the Hall.

Ben Golliver: Definitely not based on his NBA record. Didn't play enough games, win enough playoff series, take home enough individual hardware or influence the game's development. But he will get in like Arvydas Sabonis did on the international side for sure. And more than deservedly so. He was a pivotal factor in both the game's spreading influence into China and China's growing interest in the game.

Royce Young: I'm with Ben. There's no denying the impact he made and how important of a player he was to expanding the NBA's global brand, but in terms of what he did on the floor, I don't think so. His 2006-07 season was outstanding, but a lot of players have had really nice isolated seasons here and there.

No doubt he'd be one if injuries hadn't sidelined him, but that's part of it and the reality is, he just didn't play enough.

But in terms of an international Hall of Famer, absolutely. In terms of an NBA one, he simply didn't play enough. I don't think there's a special exception just because someone had a cultural impact (I mean, he's not exactly Jackie Robinson here). It's about what you did and didn't do on the court.

Matt Moore: Let's say he'd stayed healthy. What would his career ceiling have been?

Ben Golliver: Exactly halfway between Mark Eaton and Shaquille O'Neal.

Royce Young: He played in eight seasons and at his size, I don't really think he would've played more than one or two more anyway. He just would've had really nice numbers. He finished with what, 19-9 for his career? I bet he would've been like 22-10 and been, along with Shaq, one of the most dominant players in the league for a decade. Surefire Hall of Famer if he had stayed healthy.

Matt Moore: If Yao had stayed healthy, would we consider Dwight Howard's career differently? I can see making the argument for Yao being better than Dwight all the way until 2009, which slightly impacts Dwight's overall impressiveness.

Ben Golliver: I think Yao, unfortunately, will always be an overlooked oddity when we talk about the history of big men. Because of his outsider status and unprecedented size/skill set, Yao had Dirk Nowitzki's predicament of needing to win a title to justify (and explain) himself, only taken to a whole new level.

I just don't think he ever would inch his way into the American lineage without a ring or an MVP award (or two). It's just way too easy for history to trace from Abdul-Jabbar to Olajuwon (who gets a pass because he played for a high-profile college here in the States and went on to win rings) to Robinson to O'Neal to Howard. I'm not saying that's fair or how it should be, but I think that's his lot in life even if he had been healthier and 10%+ more productive.

Royce Young: There is an almost irrational thing about if a big man is truly good, he'll lead you to a title. But that's obviously not true. Patrick Ewing taught us that.

I really think if Yao had been fully healthy for 10 straight seasons, he'd have an MVP. Maybe not a title, but he'd have been one of the five scariest matchups night-to-night in the league.

Ben Golliver: Ewing is a great example because I just totally left him out of the lineage (because he didn't win a title when multiple people playing concurrently did?). He's the extraneous one in the Olajuwon/Robinson/Ewing trio, right? And he even had the biggest market team, plenty of deep playoff exposure and a high-profile American college to his advantage, which Yao didn't. Once a dominant center leads a team to a title post-Shaq, I think Yao is even more doomed.

If we're looking to spin a resolution somewhat positively, I think it's best to remember Yao as one of a kind than as one in a line.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly retire center Shaquille O'Neal's jersey. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaquille-oneal

Throughout Wednesday, tributes to Shaquille O'Neal have poured in from the likes of NBA commissioner David Stern after the center announced his retirement on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor O'Neal in the most visible way possible: by retiring his No. 34 jersey.

ESPNLA.com reports that a Lakers spokesperson has committed to retiring O'Neal's jersey but does not yet have a timeline in mind.
"We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey," said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

"We don't have a specific policy on it," Black wrote. "As you know, players have to wait five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we could possibly do a jersey retirement ceremony for Shaq prior to that."
O'Neal paired with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to win three titles for the franchise. His time with the Lakers is generally regarded as the high point of his career, making the jersey retirement decision a no-brainer.

Earlier Wednesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss recognized O'Neal for that accomplishment in a press release.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

It will be interesting to see which -- if any -- of the other teams that O'Neal played for will follow suit. Orlando, where he began his career, would seem to be a no-brainer. Despite the heartbreak of leaving the city for the Lakers, he was the face of the franchise and guided the Magic to the NBA Finals. Miami is another possibility. O'Neal teamed with guard Dwyane Wade to help the Heat win the 2006 title. His other stops -- Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston -- will probably pass.

The Lakers have only retired the jerseys of seven players to date. All seven have been selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The full list: 
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- No. 33
  • Elgin Baylor -- No. 22
  • Wilt Chamberlain -- No. 13 
  • Gail Goodrich -- No. 25
  • Magic Johnson -- No. 32
  • Jerry West -- No. 44
  • James Worthy -- No. 42
Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Shaq: larger than life, on and off the court

Shaquille O'Neal's larger than life personality set him apart from the NBA's other great big men. Posted by Ben Golliver.

shaq-rap
Shaquille O'Neal took the old “You can’t coach seven feet” cliché and multiplied it to the nth degree.

America can’t reasonably hope to reproduce – let alone coach – a player with his combination of talent, height, weight, strength, quickness and athleticism again. A sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famers and four-time NBA champion, O'Neal's successes have dominated the NBA for nearly two decades.  As a physical specimen, O’Neal stands as a once-ever product. The closest approximation we’ve seen so far – Dwight Howard – would have been overpowered by O’Neal in his prime. The next top American big man in the pipeline – Jared Sullinger – doesn’t belong in the same sentence or weight class as O’Neal; The undersized potential No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft would need to crane his neck just like the rest of us to get a good view of the XXL No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 Draft.

There are bits and pieces of all of the league’s premier big men in O’Neal. His dominance on offense was matched only by Wilt Chamberlain. The shattered backboards were Daryl Dawkins redux. His rebounding drew comparisons to Moses Malone, his shot-blocking instincts to Bill Russell. His jump hook wasn’t nearly as deadly as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook but he made it work. Ditto his footwork and short turnarounds, loosely and somewhat hopelessly co-opted from Hakeem Olajuwon. O'Neal has even carried the philanthropic torch passed down by David Robinson.

Shaq: The Legacy
Stats (All-Time List)
  • Games: 1,207 (23rd)
  • Minutes: 41,918 (17th)
  • Points: 28,596 (5th)
  • Rebounds: 13,099 (12th)
  • Blocks: 2,732 (7th)
Accomplishments
  • First overall pick, 1992 Draft
  • Rookie of the Year, 1992-93
  • NBA MVP, 1999-00
  • Four NBA Championships
  • 15-time NBA All-Star
  • 3-time NBA Finals MVP
  • 2-time NBA Scoring Champion
  • Career Salary: $292,198,327

What O’Neal possessed that none of those big men had was a natural, authentic, instantaneous bond with both basketball media and fans. His goofy, oversized, larger-than-life persona made him the center of the NBA’s attention for more than a decade. It's quite possible that personality and his off-court exploits will come to define him even more than his on-court production.

When it comes to pure marketability, O’Neal was the heir to Michael Jordan, but with a key difference.  “Be Like Mike” was the ultimate one-way road. Jordan was omnipresent and yet, oddly, inaccessible. The enduring image of Jordan is his competitive stare. He was an old-style hero in the Mt. Rushmore sense.

O’Neal was not that. He cast himself, against all odds, as the everyman. O’Neal never cared if he was carefully packaged or not. He helped turn the phrase “self-promoter” from a slur into a full-fledged business plan. He was who he was – whether you, or his critics, liked it or not. He rapped poorly on his own terms, appeared in terrible movies on his own terms, “sold out” to Hollywood and the Los Angeles Lakers on his own terms, shacked up with a reality TV star on his own terms and, through all of it, made himself appear totally accessible, on his own terms. 

He was able to accomplish this because he developed a unique brand of fearlessness: He was never afraid of being the punchline because he was always in on the joke. O’Neal wasn’t burdened with the world that faced Russell. He never took himself too seriously or criticism too personally, like Abdul-Jabbar. He learned to deal with the attention his size and skill attracted without turning on the media or turning into a recluse, like so many big men that came before him. He defied every stereotype constructed for star NBA centers up to that point: he was too cuddly to be a freak; too happy to be a monster.

In doing so, O’Neal established himself as a super-sized superhero, paving the way for modern athletes to re-think their interactions with fans. An early adopter of Twitter, O’Neal, true to form, announced his retirement in a video appeal directly to his fans which, conveniently, helped get the video delivery service into headlines across the country. A shrewd marketer but one, always, without pretense. 

If Jordan was the greatest manufactured NBA commodity of all time, O’Neal stands as the league's most effective self-promoter. Jordan’s aura sold you his shoes, underwear and sports drink; Shaq sold himself … and whatever products go along with him. Legions of professional athletes – across all sports – have followed his path. It feels like there's no turning back. 

It’s a credit to O’Neal’s personality that we never tired of it. Despite the injury-plagued seasons, his weight problems, the endless string of nicknames –The Big Aristotle, Diesel, Shaq Fu, Big Daddy – and the regrettable forays into reality television, we can’t get enough, even after all these years.

O’Neal may be leaving the NBA but he’s not about to disappear from the planet. He will make sure of that. Shaq isn't going anywhere whether we like it or not.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 5:13 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Horace Grant to Scottie Pippen: You're wrong

Posted by Royce Young



And now for the next installment of the "silly argument that we're having because Scottie Pippen said something." If you missed it or tried to make yourself forget, Pippen said that LeBron James may be a better overall basketball player than Michael Jordan. As a result, there was quite a bit of harumphing and yelling.

LeBron accepted the compliment from Pippen but ultimately disagreed. Well, add in former Chicago teammate Horace Grant as someone that doesn't agree with Pippen. Via Sports Radio Interviews:

“WOW! Pip is my man and you know we will always be close, but I totally disagree.  LeBron is gonna be one of the top players to ever play the game but Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who we bump heads at times is I think in my era the best basketball player to ever play the game.”

Grant was then asked if maybe Pippen was upset with Jordan over something, if there was some unknown grudge that caused the comment.

“(Laughing) I hope not, I don’t think so, but you know to say that somebody, I mean listen, I’m  mean I’m kinda at a loss of words cause Michael Jordan I mean when you win numerous MVPs and you’ve taken the team to six championships and probably could have been eight if he didn’t retire those two years. You know MVP’s and the playoffs and the championships I mean man he made us better, he made believe me, he, myself, Scottie, BJ, even Bill Cartwright who I still love, he made us better players.

"He gave us that confidence, but first we had to earn his trust and once we earned his trust man you know you saw championship after championship and as far as talent wise, that’s no man. Who do you want to take that last shot when three seconds are left in the game? Who do you want the ball in their hands the last 3 seconds? He proved that he can score the last few seconds of a ball game or if he gets double teamed that Steve Kerr or John Paxson are right there so you know I love Scottie, but I totally disagree.

“You know this is a great country we live in. You’re entitled to your opinions but your uhh uhh…[Waddle: YOU'RE WRONG!] Yeah, yeah he’s wrong on this one.”

Grant isn't the only player that's taken up for Jordan (obviously). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar though didn't take up for either, writing an open letter to Pippen that said, "So I would advise you to do a little homework before crowning Michael or LeBron with the title of best ever. As dominant as he is, LeBron has yet to win a championship. I must say that it looks like Miami has finally put the team together that will change that circumstance. It's my hope that today’s players get a better perspective on exactly what has been done in this league in the days of yore."

Days of yore? Really Kareem? And nobody has forgotten Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Or you, which is what I think he was really trying to say when he said not to forget about the old guys. It's just eras in basketball are difficult to compare, especially the Russell-Chamberlain era. No need to lecture everyone about basketball history. I don't think anyone has forgotten Wilt, Russell, or you.

This is part of sports and really more part of basketball than any other. We all love to talk and compare and debate. The "who's better?" question is always a fun one. The consensus is that Jordan is the greatest ever. I think Pippen's point was that LeBron was more of the total package, which people kind of ignored, but in the end, it got people talking. Which may have been the whole intention.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 7:37 pm
 

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Posted by Royce Young

I was in Los Angeles for Jerry West's statue unveiling and it was quite the scene. A ton of former legends all gathered into a spot to honor one of the all-time great Lakers. It was two hours of pretty much talking about how great Jerry West was.

I'm sure it was pretty nice.

And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, would like that moment too. Via the Sporting News, Kareem is feeling overlooked.

"I don't understand (it)," he said. "It's either an oversight or they're taking me for granted. I'm not going to try to read people's minds, but it doesn't make me happy. It's definitely a slight. I feel slighted."
I can't imagine it being either because how can you overlook him or take him for granted. Let's recap here: Again, the all-time leading scorer, a 19-time All-Star (!), six-time champion (five with the Lakers), three national titles at UCLA and he's widely considered one of the top five players of all time. How you could overlook or take that for granted is pretty incredible.

It's got to be a bigger issue like, "they just haven't gotten to it yet."

Kareem's also issued this statement through his business manager: "I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success. I guess being the lynchpin for five world championships is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history."

Kareem's statue wouldn't take a brilliant creative mind to come up with though. Everyone knows his infamous skyhook pose. That would definitely look pretty sweet standing in bronze outside of the arena.

Currently, there are five statues outside of the Staples Center: Magic Johnson, Jerry West, legendary team announcer Chick Hearn, boxer Oscar De La Hoya and hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

Lakers spokesman John Black gave a response: "We've been at Staples Center 11 years and have two ex-players who have statues now. It's not like we do it every year; we have no timetable. Whenever we do the next statue of the third Los Angeles Lakers player, it (will be) Kareem---and he has been told that. Again, we didn't say when that was going to be. It could be next year, the year after or several years from now."

See, that's what I'm saying. I don't think it's so much an oversight as it's just that they picked Magic Johnson and Jerry West first to do. Kareem can be offended by that, but that's kind of hard to argue with.

Kareem added to things, tweeting this: "Rumor has it that I will be getting a statue. A caveat for all my fans-don't hold your breath. Lakers don't care about me." Lakers don't care about you? Yeesh.

It seems like Kareem's outrage might put the Lakers in an awkward position now. Like since he complained about it and got his way, are other players going to? What about Shaq, does he deserve one? James Worthy? Eddie Jones (kidding).

Now if they give Kobe a statue before Kareem, then he'll really have a point.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 12:23 pm
 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to work with Dwight

Lakers legend wants to work with prolific center who still struggles with offense. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands above the rest as a master in the post. Arguably the greatest center of all time, Abdul-Jabbar's career is astounding in terms of personal achievement and production. The skyhook, of course, was the biggest part of his arsenal, a sweeping reign of fire that could not be blocked, altered, or influenced, and that dropped time after time. Abdul-Jabbar has repeatedly attempted to land in a coaching position, but his acerbic personality and history of inconsistency has kept him off the sideline. 

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, however, Abdul-Jabbar states plainly who he wants to work with in order to pass on his knowledge. 
Q: Is there a young center you'd like an opportunity to show a few things to?

A: Dwight Howard. I think I could have shown him a few things that would have helped his game a lot. Such an incredible athlete. There are a few blind spots in his game just because he didn't stay in school long enough to get all of that down, but just really an incredible athlete.
via Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his documentary, NBA  | ajc.com.

Now, Howard's been coached by Patrick Ewing for years. He worked with Hakeem Olajuwon last summer, and has added a short-range jumper. But you have to wonder if there's really any room for Howard's offense to go. His footwork is still awkward, his body work still off-balanced, and his offensive game still largely incomplete. This doesn't make him any less an MVP candidate, but it does make you wonder exactly what Kareem could develop with Howard. And then there's the personality issues, which could be problematic. Andrew Bynum eventually rejected Abdul-Jabbar's help in developing his game and Kareem has clashed with nearly everyone throughout his career. 

Of course, when you're a player of his stature, you have to wonder if he's earned the right to be as acerbic as he wants. Either way, I wouldn't expect any summer meetings between Cap and Dwight. 

(HT: SLAM)
Posted on: March 8, 2011 9:21 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 10:02 pm
 

Kobe Bryant passes Moses Malone on scoring list

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has passed Moses Malone on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Posted by Ben Golliver. 

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant continued his ascent up the NBA's all-time scoring list during Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks, moving past Hall of Fame center Moses Malone into sixth place. 

Bryant entered the game 12 points behind Malone and notched his 11th, 12th and 13th points at the free throw line, after being fouled while shooting a three-pointer with 2:04 remaining in the second quarter. 

Malone scored 27,409 points in 1,329 games during his career. Bryant reached that mark in his 1,086th game, 243 games faster than Malone. 

Bryant began the 2010-2011 NBA season in 12th place on the all-time list. This year he has passed (in order): John Havlicek (26,395), Dominique Wilkins (26,668), Oscar Robertson (26,710), Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) and Elvin Hayes (27,313). 

The only active player in front of Bryant is Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant's former teammate in Los Angeles. O'Neal is currently in fifth place on the list, roughly 1,100 points ahead of Bryant. Given the distance between those two players, it's a virtual certainty that Bryant will conclude this season in sixth place. The next closest active player? Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, who is 22nd all-time.

The top four scorers in NBA history are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Michael Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419). Back in January , we took a look at Bryant's career scoring trajectory and how it's likely that he will finish his career no lower than third all-time.

The Lakers defeated the Hawks, 101-87, in Atlanta. Bryant finished with 26 points. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com